The Fine Art Of Conversation with Annie Leibovitz and Gloria Steinem

The Fine Art Of Conversation
with Annie Leibovitz
and Gloria Steinem!

Ms. Leibovitz’s says :“I offer visitors a talking circle,
an invitation to explore the feelings and ideas these images create.”

 

Come on it! Please take a seat, and turn your cell phones off. Annie
Leibovitz and Gloria Steinem are inviting us into their circle for the Fine Art of Conversation.

We are in the presence of greatness, knowledge and experience with these
two legends. What are we going to learn? How will it apply to the
here and now? You do not want to miss a word. Open the ears and
sit back, so we can all listen and appreciate.

The conversation started over fifteen years ago, when Ms. Leibovitz
started a project called ‘Women’. It was published in 1999, and was
an original collaboration with Susan Sontag, who called it “a work
in progress”.

Enter stage left and into focus of the conversation, we
add Ms. Gloria Steinem. They have opened the circle, and invited
women in to discuss the changing and evolving roles of women
today. Ms. Leibovitz’s series of portraits are a reflection of this.
The idea of the tour and conversation were part of a joint venture
with UBS. Leibovitz stated, “When I asked UBS about updating
the Women’s project, there was no hesitation. They said, `let’s do
it’, and they have been extraordinary in every way. It is such a big
undertaking and a broad subject. It’s like going out, and photographing
the ocean.”

Ms. Steinem and Ms. Leibovitz embarked on a tour that took
them to several countries over the course of the year, and ends
December 2016.

This circle of conversation is diverse, open and respectful. Ms.
Leibovitz’s says, “I offer visitors a talking circle, an invitation to
explore the feelings and ideas these images create. It’s a long way
from the hush and isolation of a museum, and I’m grateful. If I
had to name the most transforming discovery of my life, it would
be talking circles; those gatherings where everyone may talk,
everyone must listen, and a balance between the two creates a
community.”
It is the role of Ms. Leibovitz and Ms. Steinem to bring to the
forefront women’s issues that are important to all. In many
countries, the roles of women are as diverse as their cultures
will allow, but time and time again, we are seeing women rise
up, and fight for what is important. Ms. Steinem says, “Whatever
the medium—photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures—,
people are almost always portrayed as `masculine’ or `feminine’,
different and unequal. Yet, in every country of the world, there is
a growing movement against this gendered inequality. When you
look at the images in ‘Women: New Portraits’, you will be seeing
through her eyes. I’m pretty sure you will be able to recognize an
Annie Leibovitz photo for the rest of your life. This is because she looks beyond gender, beyond stereotypes, beyond masks of the day, to show us that everything alive is both, universal and unique. Including me. Including you.”


What are we to learn as humans who inhabit this planet? In these
changing times of uncertainty in what the future holds for us, this
is now the time we should all be listening, respecting, and looking
out for each other. More and more conversation and exhibits like
these are in need, in order to replenish our souls, and teach us
what is important. Everyone has needs and wants, but the basic
need for all humans is to be seen and heard.
Bravo Ms. Leibovitz and Ms. Steinem for continuing to open our
eyes and mouths to the Fine Art of Conversation!
*Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949) has been making powerful images
documenting popular culture since the early 1970`s, when she
began working as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone. She became
the magazine’s Chief photographer in 1973, and ten years later
began working for Vanity Fair, and then Vogue. Her large and distinguished
body of work encompasses some of the best-known
portraits of our time.
Exhibitions of Leibovitz’s work have been shown at museums
and galleries around the world, including the National Portrait
Gallery in Washington, D.C.,the International Center of Photography
in New York, the Brooklyn Museum. the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam,
the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the State
Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her work is held in
museum collections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New
York, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.,
to the National Portrait Gallery in London.
She has published several collections of photographs, and is the
recipient of many honours. In 2006 she was made a ‘Commandeur’
in the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French government.
In 2009, she received the “International Center of Photography’s
Lifetime Achievement Award”, the first Creative Excellence Award
from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and the “Centenary
Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London”. In 2012, she
was the recipient of the “Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary
Art Award”, to “Distinguished Women in the Arts” and the “Wexner
Prize”. In 2013 she received the “Prince of Asturias Award” for
Communication and Humanities. In 2015 she received a “SFMoMA’s
Contemporary Vision Award”. She has been designated a “Living
Legend” by the Library of Congress.
A set of the new photographs will enter the “UBS Art Collection –
One”; one of the world’s most important corporate collections of
contemporary art, comprising more than 30,000 works.

Stacey Blanchet

Senior Editor